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Malta Residency by Investment: MPRP Golden Visa Guide in 2024

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: March 27, 2024

As of 2024, the Malta Golden Visa remains a prominent pathway for non-EU individuals to gain residency on this Mediterranean island. Commonly known as the Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP), this investment scheme offers various benefits, including the right to reside and settle in Malta. Notably, it attracts investors seeking a strategic foothold within the European Union, given Malta’s location and EU membership.

Investors are presented with multiple options for making a qualifying investment to obtain residency. They can choose to invest in real estate by either purchasing or renting property, with minimum value thresholds based on location. This investment grants them a residence permit that may eventually lead to citizenship, providing an opportunity to take advantage of Malta’s political stability and robust economy.

Key Takeaways

  • The Malta Golden Visa grants residency rights through real estate investments.
  • Options include property purchase or rental that meet location-based value criteria.
  • The program paves a potential path to Maltese citizenship for investors.

Overview of Malta’s Residency by Investment

Malta offers a residency by investment program that serves as a gateway for non-EU individuals to gain a foothold in the European Union. The program is structured to provide various benefits to the investors, and ultimately permanent residency through the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP).

Benefits of Maltese Residency

The Maltese Residency confers a multitude of advantages to individuals seeking to relocate or secure their presence within the European Union. Benefits include:

  • Visa-free Travel within the Schengen Area, allowing easy movement across numerous European countries.
  • Right to Reside in Malta, an EU member state that boasts a stable political climate and thriving economy.
  • Possibility of Tax Benefits, with Malta offering an efficient tax system for residents.
  • High Quality of Life, characterized by a warm climate, a safe environment, and English as an official language facilitating communication.

Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP)

The MPRP offers a structured path to residency through investment. Here are the specific requirements and options available:

  • Main Investment: Applicants are required to contribute a substantial investment into a government-approved fund, the minimum being €100,000.
  • Real Estate Option A: Rent a property with a minimum annual rent of €10,000 in Gozo or the southern regions of Malta, or €12,000 elsewhere in Malta.
  • Real Estate Option B: Purchase a property with a minimum value:
    • €300,000 in Gozo or the south of Malta.
    • €350,000 in other areas of Malta.

Investors gain permanent residency in Malta by adhering to the stipulations of the MPRP, overseen by the Residency Malta Agency. This program not only provides a potential path to citizenship but also solidifies the investor’s status within the EU. Investors looking to obtain citizenship within a 12-18 months period can instead consider Malta’s citizenship by investment program, legally known as the Malta Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN).

Eligibility Criteria

The Malta Golden Visa Program establishes specific criteria that applicants must meet for residency qualification. The eligibility hinges on fulfilling investment requirements as well as passing comprehensive due diligence processes to maintain the program’s integrity.

Main Applicant and Dependents

The principal investor must commit to a qualifying investment in real estate with options either to purchase or rent property in Malta. Eligibility extends to the following parties:

  • Spouse: Always considered an eligible dependent.
  • Children: All dependent children, both minors and those who are economically dependent on the main applicant.
  • Parents and Grandparents: May qualify as dependents if fully supported by the main applicant.

All applicants and their dependents are required to prove financial stability and a clean criminal record.

Due Diligence Requirements

Applicants must undergo rigorous background checks to protect the program’s integrity. The criteria include:

  • Clean Criminal Record: Applicants should not have a criminal record and will undergo international checks to verify their clean legal standing.
  • Source of Funds: They must also demonstrate legitimate sources of their investment funds.

The program’s due diligence ensures a high standard of applicants, aligning with Malta’s commitment to safety and compliance.

Investment Options

The Maltese Golden Visa program offers a range of investment options for those seeking residency. In 2024, applicants have the opportunity to contribute through various channels including real estate transactions and financial asset contributions.

Real Estate Purchase and Rental

Prospective residents can invest in Malta’s real estate market to satisfy the conditions of the Golden Visa. The options include:

  • Purchase: A minimum investment of €300,000 is required for properties in the South of Malta or Gozo, and €350,000 for properties in other areas.
  • Rental: Renting property is a viable alternative with a minimum annual rent of €10,000 in Gozo or the Southern regions, and €12,000 in other Maltese locations.

Contributions

Applicants can choose to make a direct investment into government-approved funds to fulfill the investment criteria. The minimum contribution amounts are €100,000.

Philanthropic Contributions

In addition to direct investments, there may be requirements for philanthropic contributions to community projects or government-backed initiatives in Malta. This approach benefits society while fulfilling part of the visa conditions. Specific amounts for these contributions vary and should be confirmed with the latest program guidelines.

Application Process

The Maltese Golden Visa application process is a structured procedure that involves thorough preparation and submission of specific documents to demonstrate eligibility and financial stability.

Gathering Necessary Documentation

Applicants must compile an extensive set of documents to support their Golden Visa application. These documents are critical to prove their identity, financial means, and background. Required documents typically include:

  • Passive Income/Bank Statements: Applicants should present recent bank statements to verify stable financial resources.
  • Personal Identification Documents: This encompasses a valid passport, birth certificate, and marriage certificates (if applicable).
  • Biometric Data: Passport-sized photos and fingerprints are necessary for personal identification.
  • Proof of Clean Criminal Record: Applicants need to supply documentation from their country of origin, and any country they have lived in for more than six months, to certify they have no criminal record.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of comprehensive health insurance covering Maltese territory is required.

They must also draft a detailed personal statement—often in the form of a cover letter—outlining the purpose of the application and their motivation for choosing Malta as their residency.

Submitting the Application

Once the necessary documentation is gathered, the applicant can proceed with their visa application. The submission process involves the following steps:

  1. Due Diligence: A thorough due diligence check is conducted, ensuring the applicant poses no security, reputational, or financial risk to Malta.
  2. Complete Application Forms: The individual must accurately fill out the required forms and attach relevant documents.
  3. Payment of Fees: Application, processing, and due diligence fees must be paid according to the stipulated requirements of the Golden Visa program.
  4. Residency Visa Issuance: Upon approval, a residency visa is granted, which is the initial step towards long-term residency and eventually citizenship, if desired, by non-EU nationals.

The entire application process reflects Malta’s commitment to attract and scrutinize high caliber individuals under the Golden Visa program, ensuring the integrity and prestige of Malta’s residency by investment scheme.

Costs and Fees

The Maltese Golden Visa program requires investors to meet specific financial commitments, including initial fees and ongoing expenses related to residency. Understanding these costs is crucial for prospective applicants to adequately plan their investment.

Initial Fees and Contributions

The Immediate financial outlay for the Malta Golden Visa encompasses administrative and due diligence fees, as well as a non-refundable government contribution. They are as follows:

  • Administrative Fee: A payment is required to cover the costs of processing the application. This fee is non-refundable.
  • Due Diligence Check: Prospective residents undergo a thorough background investigation. This vital step incurs its own separate fee.
  • Government Contribution: A significant government donation is mandatory, which varies depending on the investment route chosen.

Rights and Privileges

The Maltese Golden Visa program offers an array of rights and privileges that extend from permanent residency to citizenship for investors, enhancing their ability to live, work, and travel across Europe.

Residence and Citizenship

The Maltese Golden Visa grants permanent residence to investors, which includes the right to live, work, and study in Malta. Eventually, applicants may also transition to Maltese citizenship, subject to fulfilling all the necessary requirements. Once citizenship is obtained, investors gain full access to all the rights associated with being a Maltese national, including participation in elections and access to healthcare and education services.

Travel and Mobility Benefits

Holders of the Maltese Golden Visa enjoy significant travel and mobility benefits:

  • Visa-free travel to the Schengen Zone, allowing for movement across numerous European countries without the need for an additional visa.
  • The possibility of visa-free access to a myriad of countries worldwide as a result of Maltese citizenship, which ranks high in terms of travel freedom.

Living in Malta

Securing a Maltese Golden Visa allows for a life steeped in Mediterranean culture, with access to comprehensive healthcare and a lifestyle characterized by educational excellence and leisure by the beach. Upon obtaining this visa, individuals enjoy the benefits and rights that come with residency, including entry to Malta’s public services.

Healthcare and Public Health Services

Malta’s healthcare system ranks among the top tier in Europe, offering both public and private services. Residents with a Maltese passport or valid residence permit have access to state-funded healthcare, which is recognized for its high standards. Health insurance is a requisite for visa applicants to ensure coverage for any services not provided by the public system.

Education and Lifestyle

The education system in Malta offers a blend of public, private, and church-operated schools, all providing a high level of education in English. Maltese residents benefit from cultural richness amid the island’s historical backdrop. Furthermore, living in Malta affords easy access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, contributing to a lifestyle that balances work and leisure.

Legal Framework and Policy

The Maltese Golden Visa program operates under a rigorous legal framework aimed at ensuring its alignment with national and European Union policies. The program’s regulations are crafted to attract foreign direct investment while adhering to international compliance standards.

International and EU Compliance

Malta’s residency by investment program is designed with a commitment to European Union regulations and standards. The country is part of the Schengen Zone, which allows for visa-free travel across member countries, adding to the attractiveness of the Maltese Golden Visa.

The program incorporates due diligence processes to prevent misuse, which includes stringent checks against sanctioned countries and individuals. This ensures the program’s integrity and upholds Malta’s commitment to international regulatory statutes, including those related to prevention of money laundering and funding of terrorism.

In summary, the Malta Golden Visa is a strategic residency and citizenship option framed within robust legal and compliance structures, designed to safeguard the interests of Malta, its residents, and the European Union.

Additional Considerations

When exploring the Maltese Golden Visa, potential investors should examine the possibilities regarding family inclusion and restrictions pertaining to applicants from third-country nationals or sanctioned countries. These factors can significantly influence the decision-making process for investment in Malta’s residency program.

Inclusion of Family Generations

Malta’s Golden Visa program permits the inclusion of family members in the residency application. This inclusion covers not just the primary applicant’s spouse and minor children, but also extends to adult children (given that they are unmarried and economically dependent on the principal applicant), as well as the investor’s and their spouse’s dependent parents and grandparents. The definition of dependent is generally inclusive, encompassing individuals who are not economically active and are primarily reliant on the main applicant for their upkeep.

Third-Country Nationals and Sanctioned Countries

Malta pays close attention to the background of applicants. Third-country nationals are eligible, yet they must ensure that they do not originate from countries under international sanctions. The Maltese authorities thoroughly review applications from sanctioned countries, and in such cases, the chances of obtaining a visa are generally lower. Successful applicants typically gain visa-free access to numerous countries, emphasizing the need for Malta to maintain a strong residency program with robust due diligence processes.

Supporting Services

When applying for the Malta Golden Visa, applicants encounter a range of procedural requirements. Ensuring the proper management of legal, financial, and due diligence processes is pivotal for a successful application. Supporting services provided by experienced professionals are essential at every step.

Legal and Consultation Services

Law firms specializing in immigration offer comprehensive legal advice and consultation to guide investors through the Maltese residency by investment process. These services typically include:

  • Assistance with understanding the Malta Residency Agency guidelines.
  • Help in preparation and review of all documentation required for the application.
  • Conducting due diligence to ensure compliance with Maltese residency regulations.

Financial and Tax Advisory

Financial advisors play a crucial role in managing the economic aspects of the Malta Golden Visa application. Their services include:

  • Advising on the most suitable investment options regarding financial assets within Malta.
  • Providing guidance on tax implications related to the acquisition of residency or citizenship.
  • Supporting the investment process in line with regulatory standards to meet the due diligence criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides definitive answers to common inquiries regarding Malta’s residency by investment program, commonly known as the Golden Visa, as it stands in 2024.

What are the investment requirements for obtaining a Maltese Golden Visa in 2024?

For the Maltese Golden Visa in 2024, applicants must invest a minimum of €300,000 in real estate in the South of Malta or Gozo. Alternatively, a €350,000 investment is required for properties located in the rest of Malta. Renting a property is also an option, with minimum annual rents set at €10,000 in Gozo or the south of Malta and €12,000 elsewhere in Malta.

How long does it take to process a Golden Visa application in Malta?

The processing time for a Golden Visa application in Malta often varies. However, applicants can generally expect the process to take several months to complete, as due diligence and proper vetting are conducted to ensure all requirements are met.

Can family members be included in the Malta Golden Visa application?

Yes, family members can be included in a Malta Golden Visa application. This program allows for the inclusion of the main applicant’s spouse, children, and other dependents under certain conditions, enabling them to benefit from Malta’s residency rights.

Need help?

Navigating through golden visa & citizenship by investment programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

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